North Carolina State Quarterback Devin Leary met with the media to discuss bowl practice, UCLA, comeback for another year and more!
REMARK: Click on the video above to watch the interview.
How did the practice go? How is the mindset and spirit that everyone has in this game?
The training went very well.
We had a fair amount of free time to recuperate our bodies. Being able to recover, mentally … the guys are eager to get back on the pitch, get back on with each other, and start getting back to work, to get that 10th victory.
Are you taking further action with COVID? How do you deal with this situation as a team?
Yes, we are aware of it. We are aware that it is resuming.
You see it all over the news on social media. We definitely took extra precautions, wearing our masks around the building, wearing our masks in the boardroom and just being very careful … having to go out in San Diego too, there might be sparks there too.
So be as careful as possible.
How much has bowl practice focused on you and what you’re doing well, as opposed to preparing for UCLA?
Yes, I think the coaches did a great job allowing us to put together a good plan. The first few practices allowed us to sort of determine our tendencies or what we needed to work on or some things that we didn’t do well throughout the season that we kind of recorded. We were able to pull that off the tape, work on these things last week.
Now this week we’re kind of back on the UCLA game plan schedule, being able to look different than what they’re running defensively.
We are currently on the right track.
I know Dave mentioned using bowl practices to get reps from some of the young players. Offensively, who are the guys who caught your eye on that side of the ball?
Offensively, I think it was a great opportunity. I think a bunch of guys kind of showed where they are at, kind of stood out. I think running back Demie Sumo opened a lot of eyes.
Our center, Lyndon Cooper, also did a great job, learning behind Grant.
Then receivers and then a bunch of young guys … Julian Gray, young guys doing well and showing what they can do.
I don’t know if Devin, if you can repeat that or not for me, man. I would appreciate it.
Yeah. Can you repeat the question, I guess?
I was just asking, obviously during bowl practices a lot of young guys get reps just because maybe you are resting older players. On the offensive side, who were the young players who caught your attention during bowl training?
I was just saying it was a great opportunity to see these young guys, to be able to get more reps, to be able to see them in a more direct setting against our defense. Being able to go at a faster pace, not necessarily in a Boy Scout team.
A few guys who I think stood out … starting with Lyndon Cooper, freshman center, he did a great job. Anthony Belton left tackle. Demie Sumo also opened a lot of eyes.
Then just a few young receivers. I think Anthony Smith did a great job. A slightly older guy, Jasiah Provillon, also trained as a couple. Jalen Coit, Julian Gray. There’s a whole bunch of guys who haven’t been able to get a lot of reps throughout the season, but now to be able to see them, that was pretty cool.
You’ve had quite a few guys announcing they’re coming back next year. It really seems like a ‘go back in time’ mentality with this team. What does that say about this band and the culture you’ve built over the past two years?
Yeah, I think that says a lot.
I think that proves that, you know, the guys on this team are not happy with what we have already achieved this year. I think it also shows that the guys want to come back to prove how much better we can be, how much more we can accomplish.
It all starts with the ability of the coaches to develop the right culture here. The guys really buy into it, the guys understand how much better we can be, how better we can be when we eliminate the mistakes we made last season.
So just being able to hear everyone coming back, to see and, you know, to feel that same family atmosphere in our locker room is just huge.
I’m still thinking back, my favorite Christmases were when I got a new PlayStation or something … Do you have a favorite Christmas present that you ever received as a kid or even, you know, now as a kid. ‘student ?
So when I was a kid I know my favorite Christmas present was always to have the new Madden. Every year a new Madden came out. Whether it was my aunts or my grandmother, someone always found a way to get me the new Madden. It was always what I looked forward to every year.
What about this particular bowl game, other than getting a 10th win this season, what is the number one thing you want to prove for this program on this national stage that you are on the point to get?
Yeah, I think it’s a great scene. I think it’s a great platform for us to really show off what we can accomplish on a national stage. Obviously we’ve had several national televised games this year, but to make it a holiday bowl and have us have [the] opportunity to win 10th when of the season, I think that’s huge for our team, huge for our program, and we know what’s at stake, especially before next year as well. Determine where we will be next year.
Just being around everyone, being around what I hear everyday in our boardrooms with Coach Doeren, Coach Beck … everyone is very excited to get that 10th win.
What has made you in particular, and on offense in general, successful this season?
I think what made us successful is just the preparation. Being able to see a whole bunch of defenses these days, just being able to dissect where you can attack different defenses, how our different game plans, whether it’s RPO, running game, vertical passing, really whatever. what.
Being able to dissect where we would attack them offensively and how our offensive plan will work for the four quarters. So being able to really prepare, study the film and have everyone take responsibility has made us successful this year.
What have you done that makes you a challenge for the defenses?
I think for myself just being consistent with my game. Being consistent with the way I make decisions with the ball, being able to protect the ball, and then obviously build our attack.
I think I can film it and understand that there aren’t a lot of flaws or not a lot of weaknesses in our attack, whether it’s a self-inflicted penalty or something in that case, as long as we can eliminate them and keep going. to play coherently, that’s kind of what I’ve always strived for.
Based on your UCLA film study so far, what do you see in their defense that will be the hardest for you guys to face?
I think they do a lot of things. They have several different patterns. They are definitely trying to rush the quarterback. They do a whole bunch of different looks. They have a bunch of athletic guys up front moving around. The defensive backs do a great job with the disguise.
So I think it will be a good challenge for us, and I’m very excited to go against the defense.
Earlier this year, when you and I spoke one-on-one, I told you that Tanner Ingle used the word “artist” to describe your piece. I want to do a little role reversal. How would you describe Tanner’s game in a nutshell last season?
It’s a good question. A word. I would say “fearless”. I think all he does is a fearless player. He is not afraid of making mistakes. He is not afraid to play. His size and God given talent is just amazing … to see him put his body in danger. No matter how tall the guy he’s up against, he’s going to give his all.
It’s amazing to watch. So I would say certainly fearless.
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It was huge. It was huge for the defense.
Him being what, I think he’s a four-year-old starter. Just being that vocal guy on defense, being able to build them up, being able to put everyone in the right position.
I think it was great for him too. He was very hard on himself last year when he couldn’t finish some games, and he knew we needed him to have a great season.
I mean, credit to him, he did everything he could and figured out the type of game he needed to play.
He did a great job.
Are you more excited about SeaWorld or the zoo?
The zoo. Definitely the zoo. I want to check out the safari. Heard it’s one of the best in the country so I’m excited.